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How to Photograph With Makeup: Understanding Skin Type

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Read Time: 4 min

Understanding skin type is important when deciding what makeup to use and how to prep the skin for makeup. In this tutorial, you will learn how to approach the four different skin types.

To understand makeup, it's very important that you first understand the skin. The skin is a blank canvas that your makeup is going to be painted on, so learning the types of skin is going to help you figure out what products are going to be best in each application.

Knowing your skin is going to allow for easier blending and application of makeup, as well as enhancing the wear of your makeup throughout the day. It's also going to allow for a smoother and more perfected skin texture. Then, once your know your skin type, you'll be able to address any specific concerns that may apply to it.

4 Main Skin Types

1. Normal Skin Type

The first, and probably the rarest, would be a Normal Skin Type. To identify this type of skin, you'll notice there is no oil or shine on the skin, no visible pores, minimal fine lines, and it's very smooth in texture. Bear in mind, it's very rare to find this quality of skin on an adult.

Treatment for 'Normal' Skin

The main thing for a normal skin type is to use a basic moisturizer just to maintain its perfect qualities.

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A 'Normal Skin Type'

2. Oily Skin Type

The next skin type is an Oily Skin Type. This you'll be able to notice right away because of the shine on the skin. Most likely you will have open or visible pores in the skin, and usually you'll also see blemishes, whether that be whiteheads or blackheads, so you'll notice some texture on the skin.

Treatment for 'Oily Skin' Type

For oily skin, you will definitely want to use a moisturizer because it's going to help to give hydration back into the skin. Often people with oily skin forgo the moisturizer step because they think that their skin is already hydrated with the oil that it's producing, when in reality, your skin can actually be overcompensating for being dry by producing oil. To normalize an oily skin type, you could either use a lightweight or gel formulation or an oil-absorbing moisturizer.

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An 'Oily Skin Type'

3. Dry Skin Type

Now let's talk about a Dry Skin Type. This is the complete opposite of an oily skin type. On drier skin, you will see no visible pores, and you will actually see some dryness or flakiness on the skin's texture. You may also see some fine lines or wrinkles. 

Treatment for 'Dry Skin' Type

You'll want to hydrate the skin, but the texture of the moisturizer is going to be different from the first two skin types. You'll want to make sure you have a very rich moisture, so that it really gets down into your skin and will smooth and soften the whole skin.

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A 'Dry Skin Type'

4. Combination Skin Type

The fourth skin type is a Combination Skin Type. This is a combination of any of the previous skin types. The most common is a combination of normal and oily. Typically, it's known as the 'T-zone oily', which refers to oily skin along the forehead, down the bridge of the nose, and around the chin area. It's also common to have drier skin with a combination of oily skin in the T-zone area.

Treatment for 'Combination Skin' Type

Again, with the preparation, you're going to want to use a moisturizer. For the 'T-zone oily' type, you'll want to make sure that you're using an oil-absorbing product for oil control. So you want two different products: one for the oily zone and one for the drier zone.

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A 'Combination Skin Type'

How to Deal With an Oily T-Zone

To start, I'd apply a moisturizer that has oil-absorbing qualities, but a moisturizer in general will help to normalize and balance out your complexion. If you hydrate the skin, it won't overcompensate by producing as much oil throughout a shoot. Continuing to use that moisturizer all over the face is also going to help to normalize and balance the skin.

How to Deal With Extremely Dry Skin

I would highly suggest, regardless of your skin type, that you use an exfoliator before you do anything else to your skin. An exfoliator will get rid of any dead skin that's sitting on top of the skin's surface. Sometimes, if you have dry skin just sitting there, it makes the texture of the skin uneven, causing the product to not lay as well.

An exfoliator can definitely be in a cleanser. My personal favourite is just on a little circular pad that you can use to wipe over your complexion. It works almost like it's little Pac-Men eating away the dead skin on the surface of your complexion. It's almost like a face sandpaper, just not as harsh.

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That's it for our tutorial about skin types. Coming up in the next tutorial, we're going to talk about colour theory and makeup, and how it can make a huge difference in what colours you select to neutralize colours on the face.

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